Officials in Canada’s Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are urging those in the storm’s path to be on high alert and prepare for the impact of the hurricane, which has already claimed the lives of at least five people and cut the power to millions. it struck multiple Caribbean islands.
“Air Force hurricane hunters have investigated the major hurricane and found that it remains powerful and very large,” the center said in an update Friday morning.
“This could be a milestone for Canada in terms of tropical cyclone intensity,” and it could even become the Canadian version of Superstorm Sandy, said Canadian Hurricane Center manager Chris Fogarty. Hurricane Sandy hit 24 states and the entire East Coast, causing an estimated $78.7 billion in damage.
Residents should brace themselves for damaging winds, high waves, coastal storm surge and heavy rainfall that could lead to extended power outages, Lohr said. Emergency services have encouraged people to secure outdoor items, cut down trees, charge cell phones and prepare a 72-hour emergency kit.
Canadian Hurricane Center manager Chris Fogarty said the area hadn’t seen such a violent storm in 50 years.
“Please take it seriously because we see meteorological numbers on our weather maps that are rarely seen here,” Fogarty said.
Utility company Nova Scotia Power activated an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Friday morning that will serve as a central coordination area for recovery and response from outages, according to a press release.
The company will also work closely with the Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office.
“We are taking all precautions and will be ready to respond to Hurricane Fiona as safely and efficiently as possible,” Sean Borden, the storm control coordinator for Nova Scotia Power, said in the release.
“Once Fiona passes Bermuda, the storm is expected to hit Nova Scotia by Saturday afternoon. Fiona will become extratropical before it hits, but this will do little to hinder the damage Fiona will cause,” explains CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford .
Across the Atlantic, Canada, winds could be around 100 mph (160 kph) when Fiona makes landfall in Nova Scotia, Shackelford said.
In Canada, hurricane warnings are in place for Nova Scotia from Hubbards to Brule and in Newfoundland from Parson’s Pond to Francois. Prince Edward Island and Isle-de-la-Madeleine are also warned.
Prince Edward Island officials beg residents to prepare for the worst as the storm looms.
Tanya Mullally, the county’s chief of emergency management, said one of the most pressing concerns with Fiona is the historic storm surge that is expected to unleash.
Modeling from the Canadian Hurricane Center suggests the rise “could be anywhere from 6-8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 meters) depending on the area,” said Bob Robichaud, a meteorologist at the center.
The northern part of the island will bear the brunt of the storm due to wind direction, which is likely to cause property damage and coastal flooding, Mullally said.
All provincial campgrounds, beaches and day parks, as well as the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park, will close at noon Friday, the Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office said.
“Safety is our priority as we prepare for significant storm conditions Friday night and Saturday. We will close provincial park properties before the storm and will reopen when it is safe,” said Secretary of State for Natural Resources and Renewable Energy, Tory Rushton, in a statement. statement announcing the closures.
Fiona’s power outages continue
Earlier this week, Fiona damaged homes and disrupted critical power and water infrastructure for millions of people in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos.
The massive power outage is happening in much of Puerto Rico enduring extreme heat, leaving temperatures as high as 112 degrees on Thursday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
Daniel Hernández, director of sustainable projects at LUMA, explained that critical places, including hospitals, will be prioritized before repairs can begin on an individual level.
“This is a normal process. The most important thing is that everyone is calm … we are working to ensure that 100% of customers have service as soon as possible,” said Hernández.
According to Puerto Rico’s Housing Secretary William Rodriguez, more than 800 people were housed in dozens of shelters across the island on Wednesday.
President Joe Biden has approved a major disaster declaration for the US territory, FEMA said. The move will give residents access to grants for temporary housing and home repairs, as well as low-interest loans to cover uninsured property losses.
In the Dominican Republic, Fiona affected 8,708 households and destroyed 2,262 homes, according to the country’s head of emergency operations, Major General Juan Méndez García.
He said more than 210,000 homes and businesses were still in darkness as of Thursday morning and another 725,246 customers were without running water.
“This was something incredible that we’ve never seen before,” Ramona Santana in Higüey, Dominican Republic, told CNN en Español this week. “We are on the street with nothing, no food, no shoes, clothes, just what you have on your back… We have nothing. We have God and the hope that help will come.”
Fiona also threatened parts of the Turks and Caicos Islands on Tuesday, and parts of British territory were still without power earlier this week, namely Grand Turk, South Caicos, Salt Cay, North Caicos and Middle Caicos, said Anya Williams, acting governor of the islands.
Allison Chinchar, Melissa Alonso, Ana Melgar Zuniga and Amanda Musa of CNN contributed to this report.